I cannot resist. I said I wouldn’t do it, but it is sitting out there. Congratulations NCAA Selection Committee. Brilliant work.
First off, you manipulated the seeds for reasons we still do not know. That just reeks. If there was a reason, you should say so, but randomly moving seeds to fit your alternative notions is pathetic. You move SMU from a 2 to a 3 just so you can have #31-ranked Texas A&M host? Was this done so you could have a rematch of the ‘match that didn’t exist’ from last season? If so, great, but please tell us all why, otherwise, it looks dirty.
And why was the 31st team in the country a host? You really had to let Southern bus it that badly? So badly you flip-flopped seeds?
The whole UNC is a #1 and Illinois is a #2 was a farce, especially when you send the #1 to the #2. Why were the seedings changed from the rankings? I mean if UNC is a 2, then well, too bad, you have to go down the street and play Duke. Seems to work for everyone else. But again just flipping for no reason and then making them play is bizarre.
Now, as I tweeted previously, the results…. The top-seeds sent on the road on the men’s side both lost. The winning teams in both of those regional finals essentially had home matches. On the women’s side, it was a split. Clemson, a top-seed, actually won the Fayetteville Regional, while as we know, SMU upset Florida State. Again, SMU gets to play in their home state with an extremely pro-SMU crowd and squeak out a win.
The only top-seed to lose at home this weekend was the Tennessee women, who fell to rival Vanderbilt.
That means top-seeds at home were a whopping 27-1, while the top-seeds sent on the road went 1-3.
On the men’s side, you sacrificed one team (Texas) to let UMKC save about $1000 and drive to Norman. Heck, they actually didn’t have hotels in Norman because of graduation and the Big XII Track and Field meet, so the teams stayed in 20 miles away in OKC. The other top seed (UNC) we are not real sure why they were the top seed, but you sent them to Illinois. Either they earned that #1 seed or they didn’t. You cannot say, hey you are going to Illinois, but guess what, you are the top-seed… woo hoo
Now to the congratulations… That goes out to the Baylor men and women, as well as the Texas A&M men. But the big congratulations go to SMU and the head coach Lauren Longbotham-Meisner. Her third-seeded Mustangs upset Texas A&M yesterday and Florida State today to earn the women’s first Sweet 16 berth since 1987.
I don’t want to get into it (you can search the blog), but let’s just say the last year or so has not been the easiest for her, her team and her family for a variety of reasons. This has to be extra special that it happened at A&M, as Lauren grew up in nearby Groesbeck and a fan of the Aggies. She spent several summers on campus as a camper and counselor.
To bring this team that was missing several players that were expected on campus was a great job. Congrats. Your reward is to now go play Joey’s team again. At least it will be a neutral site and Palo Alto is lovely. So again a Texas team is guaranteed to be in the quarters!
My final nugget comes from my crackerjack staff: Mark Turpin has two kids in Sweet 16, Ashley (SMU) & Rusty (Tulsa). Both teams were regional 3-seeds.